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Stacey’s Dash

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 started out like every other day.  I got up and started my java swig.  For those that don’t know me, I’m a java junkie, and proud of it.  It’s what helps me form my attitude and personality for the day.  I’m not human or sane without it.

11 o’clock rolls around and I received a phone call that a good friend had passed away.  That good friend was Stacey Fincher.  Full of disbelief, shock and confusion, I drove my husband and a friend to the hospital so we could be with Stacey’s wife and family.  The remainder of the week was spent going through the motions.  Those that knew and loved Stacey, were all wishing on the turn of events to be a bad dream.  That wish never came true.

The following poem was shared with me years ago:

The Dash
By Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who love her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard;
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile…
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Stacey spent his dash living life to the fullest.  If he wasn’t racing go-carts, he was riding his Harley, hanging out on the river, helping a friend, lounging on the couch with his dog Bailey or working hard on the job.  Stacey loved to gather with family and friends, and grill everyone some grub.  If you were around Stacey, you were living his dash with him.  You couldn’t help but to.  His laugh was contagious, and you could spot him in a crowd with nothing but your ears.  Stacey’s dad, Shorty, said yesterday, “Stacey never met a stranger, he met a friend.”  Oh how true that was.

As a kid, my husband stayed with the Fincher family off and on.  Stacey has a twin brother, Tracey.  If one was in trouble, they both were most likely in trouble.  My husband, Prevo, wrote a song in 1999 {see below}, about a summer adventure with the Fincher twins.  Stacey and Prevo were painting the Fincher house.  It was a hot, July day and Tracey was basking in the sun at the beach.  Having fun and living it up while Prevo and Stacey were stuck painting.  In a lickety split minute, Stacey and Prevo decided they didn’t want to paint.  They wanted to be living it up at the beach with Tracey, so they dropped what they were doing and drove to the beach.  To this day, the house has never been finished.


Yesterday while visiting Shorty, we laughed about this story.  Shorty said to me, “come here a minute and let me show you something.”  We walked around the front of the house and Shorty told us how he decided to cover the house with siding, and pointed to an area on the brick foundation.  Shorty said, “do you see that white spot on the brick?”  Prevo and I both shook our heads and said, “yes sir.”  Shorty replied, “that’s the spot where Stacey and Prevo cleaned their brushes out, and it doesn’t come out of brick.”

 Yesterday, at 11am, Stacey was laid to rest.  His funeral was absolutely beautiful and fit Stacey to a “T”.  Wendi, Stacey’s wife, wanted the funeral to be about Stacey, and it was.  It sounds strange to say this.  Stacey’s funeral is what funerals should be like.  There was a wide variety of people who attended the service.  Some were dressed up, and others were in blue jeans and a comfortable shirt.  Stacey wanted people to be themselves, and yesterday was no exception.

Several stories were shared during the service that made us laugh.  Rev. Burton Campbell told how The Dukes of Hazzard had Bo and Luke, and Saluda County had Stacey and Tracey.  We celebrated the life of a man who loved his wife and family,. loved Harley’s and go-cart racing, loved spending time with his friends.  In a nutshell, Stacey loved life and lived his dash with enthusiasm and intensity.

Stacey would have been happy to know he was escorted to his final resting place by 50+ Harley’s.  The sound a Harley makes is unique, and when they all topped the hill, tears and chill bumps are the only thing I remember.

Because I was focusing on the Harley’s and making sure I took plenty of pictures, I did not notice that the question everyone had been asking was finally answered.  Tracey lead the procession of Harley’s, and honored Stacey by riding his Harley.  I know it had to be the second hardest thing he’s ever done.  The first being the loss of his twin brother.

Stacey’s dash is full of a blue millions stories.  There will be many a gatherings where we toast to Stacey’s dash and tell those stories.  We will never forget Stacey, and will continue to honor his memory.  Everyone who knew Stacey will miss him dearly.

Stacey Fincher
March 28, 1970 – September 13, 2011

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